American YouthWorks Celebrates The Graduating Class of 2014

Article appears in American YouthWorks Newsletter.

I'm so excited about our amazing, 2014 graduating class and I wanted to share our milestone with you.   

Many students in our Service Learning Academy say that they would have dropped out without the school.        

These students came from difficult, non-traditional backgrounds and overcame significant challenges to walk across the stage.   

101 graduates! 

25% of students in the class are parents.

Over 90% of these students were at-risk of dropping out of high school (or had already dropped out).   

Only 5% were on track to graduate when they enrolled with us.   

They've beaten the statistics.  Not only have they finished high school, but they're graduating ready to continue their success in college or careers.    

By participating in our jobs training programs, these graduates have learned skills that prepare them to get meaningful, stable jobs in a broad array of fields.  Additionally, many have been placed into paid internships where they are gaining work experience.  They earned over $30,000 in scholarships to further their education in college or trade school.  And each graduate has completed service projects that benefit our community!   

I hope you'll take just two more minutes to read the story of Gabe below.  At age 20, he almost dropped out.  Instead, he graduated with the 2014 class, has found a meaningful career path, and is already employed!

It's an honor to be a part of such an important mission to build brighter futures and better communities through job skills training, education, and service opportunities.


With kind regards,

Parc Smith

CEO, American YouthWorks 


Graduate Highlight
Gabe's inspiring story


Gabe was attending Cherokee Christian Academy where he wasn't getting enough help and felt like he was going nowhere.  Upon turning 20, when most students would have already earned their diploma, he enrolled at American YouthWorks.   


Gabe participated in both our Service Learning Academy Charter High School and YouthBuild programs, meaning that while earning his diploma, he was learning job skills in green construction and home repair.      


In addition to learning construction skills, he participated in our Automotive Technology program, which is run through a partnership with Austin Community College (ACC).  He didn't realize that automotive repair was something he would be so interested in until he was given the opportunity to try it.  Gabe ended up loving it and doing so well that his ACC instructor recommended him to the Toyota dealership.  I'm happy to report that Gabe is now gainfully employed in their service department.   


If it hadn't been for American YouthWorks, Gabe feels like he may never have finished his diploma and he definitely wouldn't have found such a great opportunity to pursue a job he loves - right out of high school.  Gabe intends to keep working at Toyota while he pursues an Associate's Degree in Automotive Technology.